Home Emergency Management News Death Toll Rises to 77 in California Wildfires

Death Toll Rises to 77 in California Wildfires


By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

The death toll from the Camp Fire in Northern California increased by one Sunday to 77, while the number of people unaccounted for has decreased to 993 people, CBS News reported Monday. “The blaze was two-thirds contained as of Sunday night after consuming some 150,000 acres.”

But survivors now face new dangers: air so thick with smoke it ranks among “the dirtiest in the world,” according to the air quality monitoring network PurpleAir, which measures air pollution worldwide.

Nearly 200 miles to the south, in San Francisco, the smoke was so thick that health warnings prompted widespread school closings. Even the city’s cable cars were shut down.

Rain Expected, But Storms Could Hamper Search for Fire Victims

“Rain is forecast for midweek, which could help firefighters but also complicate the challenging search for remains, CBS Los Angeles said. “The search for remains of victims of the devastating Northern California wildfire has taken on new urgency due to rain in the forecast for midweek that could complicate those efforts and bring significant winds with it.”

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called the situation “disheartening.”

"As much as I wish we could get through [the search] before the rains come, I don't know if that's possible,” Honea told the CBS affiliate.

In addition to halting the search for more bodies, hundreds of survivors could be flooded out of the tent city they set up in a Walmart parking lot.

According to CNN, “that possibility has authorities working to relocate the wildfire evacuees who have taken refuge at the parking lot 10 minutes down the hill from the town of Paradise, which is now little more than acres of charred ruins.”

It is feared that heavy rains could also trigger mud and rockslides in Southern California.

Woolsey Fire Is Mostly Contained

Just outside Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire death toll stood at three. The blaze was 91 percent contained after burning 96,949 acres, CBS News added.

David Hubler David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield published the paperback edition of David’s latest book, "The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation's Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever."